10 May 2009

The king is resting

Isn't he a picture of contentment - it looks like butter would not melt in his mouth? The only reason I was this close was because he was on the other side of the fence, at the Seaview Lion Park.



The only lion I have ever seen in the wild was at the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. It was a big male, crouching in the scrub at the side of the road, looking like he would like to make us his next meal.

During my days in the army, during the bush war in Zimbabwe, I spent a lot of time in the Zambezi Valley. It is a vast wilderness, teaming with wildlife of every kind and is still one of my favourite places on the planet. Although we never saw the lions we often heard them at night.

It was a very sobering experience, knowing that they were out there, but not knowing what their intentions were. We also knew of a guy who had recently been taken by a lion, while sitting around a camp fire at night, it simply leapt into the circle, grabbed him and disappeared into the darkness, before anyone could react.

We we young and without a sense of our own mortality and took solace in the fact that if it happened in our camp, it would be one of the other guys. Fortunately the lions left us alone.

12 comments:

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Beautiful lion shots Max. I cannot belive that you had not been close to one before. You and S have got to get down to Kruger Park soon. :)

Michelle Johnson said...

He's adorable. Looks like one could walk up and start petting him he's so peaceful. But, I dare not. You never know when a lion may attack you or how hungry he may be. Nice shot. Have a nice day.

Sreddy Yen said...

What a peaceful expression on the lion's face! But I have to say that it does look as if it has been tranquilised...

Sreddy

MJS said...

This is so cool! I love your army story too.

Andi said...

Gorgeous photo and sobering story!

shabby girl said...

Looks like you could just lay right down beside him and nap as well. Not!
It only recently occured to me to be apprehensive about being out in the wild areas of this town. You just never know who's watching!

Ordinarylife said...

Just a kitty resting in the sun....

Anna said...

Wow Max-e this is nice picture. I only saw lion in the zoo too. May be one day. Listening to them at night may be scarry at times. Thanks for sharing, and again I love your photo, definitely a wall photo. Anna :)

ccna said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!
ccent

Firefly said...

I'm surprised that you have never seen one of the wild lions in Addo.
There is nothing like hearing a lion roar in the wild at night, as long as he doesn't get too close.

Vantrekker said...

Grrr8 shot Max.Did you happen to take any of the white Lion cubs? Also did you hear the noises the young lions make at feeding times?
Seaview is a brilliant place to visit.

disa said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.